Smoke signals

Michael Brantley (manager's discretion) and Mike Aviles (lower back soreness) were scratched from the Indians' lineup Thursday against the D-backs. In their places, Matt Carson got the start in left field, while Nyjer Morgan slid in at center.

Michael Bourn (strained left hamstring) has begun running the bases along with participating in other baseball activities. Placed on the disabled list Monday retroactive to March 21, Bourn will miss at least the first four games of the season, with April 5 representing the earliest possible return date.

"He's getting pretty active," Francona said. "He's out there today doing everything with our team except playing the game."

• Francona hasn't decided on his Opening Day lineup yet, but he does anticipate shuffling players around throughout the club's first series against the A's in Oakland.

"The one thing I think you'll probably see in that opening series is just about everybody will play," Francona said. "Some of that is the A's going right, left, right [Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez] and their potential bullpen, so I wouldn't be surprised if everyone plays, and that's probably a good thing."

• All of the Indians regulars will play Friday night against the Padres at the University of San Diego, said Francona. The team will then come back the following morning for batting practice before the manager plans to play his starters "quickly" then "get some of the other guys in."

• Asked if Brantley would play center field on Opening Day in place of Bourn, Francona said he is more likely to start him there against the lefty Kazmir for the second game, "That's probably more of the plan." 

That would leave either Morgan or Aviles in line to get the nod in center for the season opener. 

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.